What You Need To Know Before Working In Real Estate
Millions of individuals envy the lifestyle of successful real estate agents and their astounding income levels. It is no wonder that a large number of men and women switch careers and leave their jobs every year to become real estate agents.
Yes, anyone who is hardworking and can deal with other people can hope to do well as a real estate agent. However, there are many things about the profession of a real estate agent that most people are not aware of.
It is a good idea to have complete knowledge about the career as a realtor before jumping on to the bandwagon. This will help you in making an informed decision about a career as a real estate agent and what you can expect from it.
1. You need to go to school to get a license.
It is true that anyone can hope to become a real estate agent irrespective of his educational qualification. But you still need to enroll in a training course and then appear in an exam to obtain the necessary license to become eligible to work as a real estate agent. You can do the course in a classroom setting or complete it as an online course.
Every state has a specific requirement in terms of hours of course. After passing the course, you need to pass state and national board exam to become a qualified real estate agent.
2. You will have to find and work for a broker
After passing your state and national board exam, you are given a period within which you have to become associated with a brokerage.
As a newbie realtor, you need the help and support of a brokerage to give direction to your career as a real estate agent. You have to do your research to find a reputed brokerage to get the kind of experience you need to develop your career. Find out what the brokerage is offering in terms of training, tools, and help in a real estate transaction.
These aspects prove crucial during your learning curve and help you in starting as an independent realtor later. The brokerage charges a fee to allow you to work as an associated agent and you can expect to pay nearly $10000 a year in the form of a technology fee, desk fee, and other expenses. You can manage the cost of the brokerage with the split in a commission that you earn through your real estate transactions.
3. You have to learn to market yourself.
Once you start your business as a realtor, you are just like a doctor or a lawyer providing his services to clients. You will face fierce competition from already existing agents, and your task will be to set a unique identity for yourself in your area of operation.
It is your marketing efforts that will make sure that people in your area come to know about your knowledge and skills. You will need a good quality website where you can give information about your services and expertise. You will need a significant online presence including accounts on various social media networks to interact with your friends and followers. It will be your job to establish yourself as an authority in your chosen real estate niche.
4. Real Estate is not a 9 to 5 office job.
If you think that you will get to enjoy the comforts of an office where you can work from 9 in the morning till 5 in the evening, you are wrong. You will be your own boss with a flexible schedule to work at your own pace and liking.
You can decide your hours of work, but you will have to keep in mind the convenience of your clients to suit their schedules. You can find yourself working at odd hours of the day and during weekends. You will find that you are meeting clients and showing them properties in evenings and on holidays more than in mornings and weekdays.
However, you can take a break from work whenever you desire and enjoy a movie or a vacation on the beach with your family and friends. In a nutshell, there are no set hours of work when you take up a career as a real estate agent.
5. The first year is the most important
The first year as an independent real estate agent will be the hardest, but most important phase of your career. You are on your own, and you must work hard to secure leads and clients. This is the hardest phase of your job as it could take many months to earn your first commission after successfully closing the deal for a client.
You may be required to utilize funds from your savings account to manage your household during this phase. Once you pass this critical phase, your career as a real estate agent takes off, and you can expect decent income through commission. On average, agents from both sides get around 2.5-3% of the total value of the transaction as their commission. Even if you sell one property worth $250,000 a month, you can expect an income of around $75,000 in a year.
6. It will be important to build long-term relationships
Your success in your chosen career as a real estate agent will hugely depend upon your ability to develop strong relationships with your leads, clients, vendors, contractors, investors, and lenders. You can easily iron out wrinkles from a real estate transaction through your expertise as well as your network in the real estate industry.
In fact, highly successful realtors get most of their business through referrals from their previous clients. You can hope to get high volume of business without making hard efforts if you have great communication skills and seen as a reliable and honest real estate agent. For this to happen, you will have to learn to manage your relationships with your clients and other realtors so that they remember you whenever they need your services.